Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >
My God, I love and I adore. I. Watts. [God, the Creator and Preserver.] This poem of 63 lines, appended to an essay on “Searching after God," is in Watts's Reliquiae Juveniles: Miscellaneous Thoughts in Prose and Verse, &c,, 1734. In the Collection of Hymns & Psalms, &c, by Kippis, Rees, and others, 1795, a hymn in 4 stanzas of 4 lines appeared as No. 62, beginning "Who can by searching find out God?" The opening stanza is based on lines 1-4 of the poem, whilst stanzas ii.-iv. are almost word for word from lines 5-20. This same hymn, with the substitution of lines 1-4 of the poem for the first stanza as in Kippis, is No. 148 in The Baptist Praise Book, N. Y., 1871. This, together with the text as in Kippis, is in other collections. Another arrangement, beginning with the same first line, in 4 stanzas is No. 177 in H. W. Beecher's Plymouth Collection, 1855, but it is not equal to either of the former in purity or beauty. The hymn, in either of those forms, is very poetical and of more than usual excellence.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)